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Revolutions per minute or RPM on vinyl records

Difference between vinyl records recorded at 45 or 33 RPM

In this short read, we dive into the technical aspects of RPM on vinyl records. In this space, we’ll discuss the practical implications of revolutions per minute, exploring how various speeds affect playback, audio quality, and overall performance. Whether you’re a seasoned vinyl aficionado or a newcomer to the world of analog sound, join us as we break down the nitty-gritty details of RPM and its impact on your vinyl listening experience

What is RPM?

RPM stands for “Revolutions Per Minute,” and in the context of vinyl records, it refers to the speed at which the record rotates on a turntable. The most common speeds for vinyl records are 33 RPM and 45 RPM (there is also 78 RPM that is used). Each speed has a different impact on the playback of the audio recorded on the vinyl. The choice of RPM affects the amount of information that can be packed onto a vinyl record, as well as the quality of the audio reproduction. Different turntables have settings to accommodate these various speeds, allowing listeners to play a wide range of vinyl records on their equipment.

The main difference

I have read a simple explanation online about 45rpm record and their better quality of sound for everyone to understand. Think of drawing a flipbook character. If you were given 50 pages to draw on and flip through, you could create an animation. But imagine if you drew the same animation on 100 pages. You’d have to flip the pages twice as fast for the character to move at the same speed, but the changes from page to page would also be more slight, making the animation considerably smoother.

Better quality or more music

Thats it. At Twlinch we are recording both 33 RPM and 45 RPM vinyl records, and the main difference between these two is how much sound and how good the quality of sound can be recorded at each speed. Here is the comparison between these two:

  1. Rotational Speed:
    • 45rpm records: These records rotate at 45 revolutions per minute (rpm). The higher rotational speed allows for shorter playing times per side but typically offers better sound quality due to wider grooves and slower linear velocity.
    • 33rpm records: These records rotate at 33 1/3 revolutions per minute (rpm). They have longer playing times per side compared to 45rpm records but may sacrifice some sound quality due to narrower grooves and faster linear velocity.
  2. Playing Time:
    • 45rpm records: Because of their higher rotational speed, 45rpm records typically have shorter playing times per side, usually accommodating one song per side. They are commonly used for singles or shorter recordings.
    • 33rpm records: With their lower rotational speed, 33rpm records can accommodate longer playing times per side, making them suitable for full-length albums or longer recordings.
  3. Sound Quality:
    • 45rpm records: Generally, due to their slower linear velocity and wider grooves, 45rpm records tend to offer better sound quality, especially in terms of clarity and detail.
    • 33rpm records: While 33rpm records provide satisfactory sound quality for most listeners, they may not match the level of detail and clarity provided by 45rpm records, particularly for audiophiles.
  4. Usage and Purpose:
    • 45rpm records: These are commonly used for singles, promotional releases, or shorter recordings. They are favored for their higher fidelity and are often collected by enthusiasts.
    • 33rpm records: These are typically used for full-length albums, allowing for longer playing times per side. They became the standard format for LPs (Long Play) and are widely used for various genres of music.

Whatever you need!

In summary, the choice between 45 RPM and 33 RPM vinyl records depends on factors such as desired playing time, sound quality preferences, and the specific recordings being played! Create your vinyl record in our website builder and leave us a notice if you want us to record your vinyl at 45 RPM!

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More torque, lower wow and flutter: From SL 1200 mk2 to SP10 mk2

At the end of 2023, we decided to finally do the switch of the turntable for our vinyl lathe cut. So new year new gear in our studio! Cutting vinyl records is our passion and just with constant upgrades to our studio equipment, we can achieve the best results when recording vinyl records. There are so many different factors to achieve the best sound quality and one of them is also turntable torque. Technics SP10 mk2 has a much lower wow and flutter compared to SL 1200 mk2.

Why Technincs SP10?

The characteristics of this legendary turntable speak for themselves. The Technics SP-10 is a legendary direct-drive turntable that has left an indelible mark on the audiophile world since its introduction in the late 1970s. Renowned for its precision and engineering excellence, the SP-10 boasts a heavy, well-damped chassis to minimize vibrations and resonance, ensuring optimal playback performance. Its direct-drive system, a departure from traditional belt-driven mechanisms, provides precise speed control and low wow and flutter for accurate reproduction of audio signals. The SP-10 features a high-torque motor, offering swift start-up times and stable rotation. Additionally, its advanced design minimizes cogging effects, enhancing the overall smoothness of rotation.

Wow and flutter

Wow and flutter are deviations in the speed of a turntable’s rotation, and high percentages of these parameters can negatively impact the sound quality. Wow refers to slow speed variations, while flutter refers to faster variations. When a turntable exhibits a high percentage of wow and flutter the audio playback can experience pitch variations and instability. The sound may exhibit a warbling or wavering effect as if the pitch is constantly shifting up and down. This is most commonly heard on piano and its long sustains which result in the “wawing” effect.

Why the switch

The answer is simple. Technics SL 1200 mk2 is a great turntable but comparing the key characteristics with SP10 mk2 looks like this:

Tecnhincs SP10 mk2:

Starting Torque: 6 kg/cm
Wow and Flutter: 0.025% WRMS

Technics SL1200 mk2:

Starting Torque 1.5 kg/cm
Wow and flutter: 0.01%WRMS*

Better sound on lathe cut

As it was said in the beginning several things are affecting the result of vinyl record cuts, so we are constantly working on upgrades. With this upgrade, we are ready to produce even better custom vinyl records. We are ready for 2024 and already looking forward to new projects!

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Vinyl: The classic material

In a world dominated by digital technologies and sleek, modern materials, there’s something undeniably captivating about the timeless allure of vinyl. This classic material, with its rich history and enduring popularity, has stood the test of time and continues to make its mark in various industries.

Vinyl, often associated with records and vintage aesthetics, is a type of plastic known for its versatility and durability. Its roots trace back to the early 20th century when scientists sought to create a synthetic material that could mimic the properties of rubber. Over the years, vinyl has evolved into a versatile and widely used substance, finding its way into countless applications.

One of the most iconic uses of vinyl is in the realm of music. Vinyl records, with their warm analog sound and large, nostalgic album art, have experienced a remarkable resurgence in recent years. Audiophiles and music enthusiasts appreciate the unique quality of vinyl, as the analog grooves on the record produce a distinct sound that digital formats often struggle to replicate.

Beyond the realm of music, vinyl has established itself as a go-to material for various products. From flooring and upholstery to fashion and home décor, vinyl’s durability and flexibility make it a preferred choice for designers and manufacturers. Its water-resistant properties also contribute to its popularity in spaces like kitchens and bathrooms.

One of vinyl’s key advantages is its low maintenance requirements. Vinyl products are often easy to clean and resistant to stains, making them practical for everyday use. This, combined with its affordability, positions vinyl as an accessible and functional choice for a wide range of consumers.

Moreover, advancements in manufacturing technology have allowed for the creation of vinyl materials that are more environmentally friendly. Recyclable and phthalate-free options contribute to more sustainable use of vinyl, aligning with the growing awareness of eco-friendly choices among consumers.

In the world of fashion, vinyl has experienced a resurgence as a trendy material. Designers appreciate its glossy finish and sleek appearance, creating bold and eye-catching garments that stand out on runways and in street fashion alike. Vinyl’s association with rebellious subcultures adds a touch of edginess to fashion pieces, making it a favorite among those seeking a distinctive look.

As we navigate an ever-evolving landscape of materials and technologies, vinyl remains a steadfast and versatile option. Its ability to seamlessly blend the nostalgic with the contemporary, the practical with the stylish, ensures that vinyl will continue to play a significant role in our lives for years to come. So, whether you’re spinning a classic vinyl record or stepping onto a stylish vinyl floor, take a moment to appreciate the enduring charm of this classic material.

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The cork slipmat

When discussing and arguing about the sound quality of vinyl records and sound systems we often forget about an unsung hero in the world of vinyl playback that deserves some recognition: the slipmat. This unassuming accessory plays a crucial role in ensuring the quality of your vinyl listening experience, and today, we’re going to shed some light on why cork slipmats are worth their weight in gold. In this short read, we are presenting the cork slipmat its characteristics, and benefits.

Gentle on Your Records

Cork is a naturally soft and resilient material, making it an ideal choice for slipmats. When you place your precious vinyl record on a cork slipmat, you can rest easy knowing that it won’t scratch or damage the delicate grooves on the underside of the record. This gentle surface ensures that your vinyl remains in pristine condition, allowing you to enjoy your music for years to come.

Reduced Static and Resonance

One of the primary foes of vinyl enthusiasts is static electricity. Cork slipmats help mitigate static build-up due to their natural anti-static properties. This reduction in static not only helps preserve your vinyl but also improves audio quality by minimizing pops and crackles during playback.

Additionally, cork has excellent dampening properties, which means it can absorb vibrations and reduce resonance. This is particularly important for audiophiles who strive for the purest, most accurate sound reproduction. Cork slipmats help achieve just that by minimizing unwanted vibrations that can degrade audio quality.

Enhanced Grip and Stability

Cork’s naturally grippy texture provides a stable surface for your records. This grip ensures that your vinyl stays firmly in place while the turntable rotates, reducing the chances of slippage or wobbling during playback – surely not the best choice for DJs!

Environmentally Friendly

Cork is a sustainable material harvested from the bark of cork oak trees, which naturally regenerate after harvesting. This eco-friendly aspect makes cork slipmats an excellent choice for environmentally-conscious music lovers.

Aside from their functional benefits, cork slipmats can also enhance the visual appeal of your turntable setup. The earthy, warm tone of cork adds a touch of elegance and uniqueness to your record player, making it a visually pleasing addition to any room.

While cork slipmats might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of vinyl accessories, they are undoubtedly an essential component of a high-quality vinyl listening experience. Their ability to protect your records, reduce static and resonance, provide stability, and contribute to a sustainable lifestyle makes them an essential part of the turntable. If you’re a vinyl enthusiast looking to elevate your setup, consider giving cork slipmats a spin—you won’t be disappointed!

Check our “CORK” slipmat collection here!

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Vinyl records stereo image

Vinyl records are becoming more popular lately, but there is an ongoing debate on whether this classic format can handle the same sound quality as digital releases. There are a lot of differences and a lot of things to compare but one of the most known topics when it comes to the sound of vinyl is a stereo image. In this short read, we will quickly explain what a stereo image means and how good can the stereo image be on a vinyl record.

Binaular is the first stereo

The first “stereo” sound experiments were done back in the 1930s by Emory Cook who was experimenting with binaural recordings where one vinyl had two channels recorded separately and needed tonearm with two cartridges and needles to play “stereo” sound. Soon the music industry (mostly the biggest labels), predicted that stereo is the future and early in the 1950s they started releasing stereo versions of albums. When the vinyl records industry started it was all about mono. All the records were recorded on one channel which means that if you listen to those tracks today both speakers will play the same sound with no panning of different instruments or vocals on the left and right speakers. Some people still prefer listening to mono but the thing is that stereo gives us another dimension to experience music more widely and fully than before.

Binaural Record Demonstration

Out-of-phase stereo image

The first thing you need to know when we talk about vinyl cut (or press) is, that mixing and mastering for this format is different than the one for digital release. A vinyl record is a physical product with its limitations and we cannot get the same sound as we can get from a digital version. One of the problems that appear a lot when mixing and mastering are not done for vinyl record release is a negative correlation – the stereo image is out of phase. Stereo imaging may sound good on a digital record, but the image may be too wide for a vinyl record. A stereo-cutting head cuts center/mono information horizontally and stereo information vertically, so if the stereo image is too wide it can happen that the cutting stylus tries to cut over the limit and this can lead grooves to momentarily disappear. Playing such a vinyl record would mean the stylus skipping on the parts where recordings were out of phase.

So the digital is better?

Even if the vinyl record format has its limitations on stereo image this does not mean that the sound is worse than with digital formats. Yes, it cannot go as wide but the thing is that if mixing and mastering are done correctly for the vinyl record release, the sound can be great. There is another thing about stereo image – the records that are made for clubbing are usually recorded in mono as a lot of sound systems in the clubs are still mono. A bad stereo sound system in the club would sound pretty strange as you would hear some elements just on the right side of the club and others just on the left. This would be pretty awkward. Mono doesn’t mean that the record is not good it just doesn’t give that wide feeling when listening on a proper stereo Soundsystem.

Fixing stereo image

As we are specialised in vinyl cut we do a lot of things in our studio before we start with production. We always inspect the stereo image of the recordings we receive and we give feedback to our client to fix the parts where the image is too wide or we fix the recordings for them. The overall correlation of stereo should not exceed 90%. 0% – means mono, 180% – means anti-phase. The correlation of bandwidth below 200 Hz should be even narrower, and below 100 Hz should be 0% (mono).

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Keeping the groove alive

Collecting vinyl records is a popular thing last few years and more and more young population are discovering this exciting and expensive hobby. However, to truly appreciate the full potential of vinyl, proper maintenance is crucial. In this short read, we will explore the art of vinyl cleaning and why it’s essential for preserving the longevity and sound quality of your cherished record collection.

Clean them regularly

Vinyl records are delicate treasures, susceptible to dust, dirt, and various contaminants that can compromise their sound quality. Regular cleaning not only removes these unwanted particles but also helps prevent wear and tear on your turntable’s stylus. By keeping your vinyl records clean, you can ensure an optimal listening experience while prolonging the lifespan of your prized collection.

Essential tools

To embark on your vinyl cleaning journey, you’ll need a few essential tools. Here’s a list of items you should consider having in your vinyl-cleaning tools:

  • Anti-static record brush: Perfect for removing loose debris from the record’s surface.
  • Cleaning solution: There are various cleaning solutions available in the market specifically designed for vinyl records. Look for options that are gentle, non-abrasive, and specifically formulated for vinyl.
  • Microfiber cleaning cloth: Ideal for wiping down your records and removing any residue left behind by the cleaning solution.
  • Record cleaning machine: For those seeking a more advanced and thorough cleaning method, investing in a record cleaning machine can yield excellent results.

Simple cleaning

Before you start cleaning your vinyl records, make sure to handle them with clean hands to avoid leaving fingerprints or oils on the surface. Here’s a step-by-step guide to cleaning your records:

  • Gently brush the surface of the record using an anti-static brush to remove loose debris.
  • Apply a small amount of the cleaning solution onto a microfiber cloth or brush designed for vinyl record cleaning.
  • In a circular motion, gently clean the record’s grooves with the cloth or brush. Be careful not to apply excessive pressure to avoid damaging the record.
  • Once the record has been thoroughly cleaned, use a dry section of the cloth to wipe away any remaining moisture.
  • Allow the record to air dries completely before returning it to its sleeve.

Storing your vinyl records

Always store your vinyl records in the protective inner (and outer) sleeves to prevent dust accumulation. If possible cover them also with outer PVC sleeves. Avoid exposing your vinyl records collection to extreme temperatures or direct sunlight, as this can cause warping. To keep your records clean you also need to keep your turntable clean as well, so regularly cleaning the slipmat and stylus will prevent any transfer of dirt onto your records.

So cleaning your records is simple, but doing that regularly is the only way to keep them in good condition and get the best sound while listening.

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The power of slipmat

When it comes to vinyl record enthusiasts, every detail matters, including the accessories that accompany your turntable setup. One such essential accessory that often goes unnoticed but plays a crucial role in preserving the quality of your vinyl records is the slipmat. While there are various materials available, polyester slipmats have gained popularity among turntable owners. But what is the benefit of having the right slipmat?

Reduced static and improved sound quality

One of the main advantages of slipmats is their ability to reduce static electricity. Static can cause issues such as pops, crackles, and skipping during playback, which can significantly impact your listening experience. Polyester, being a low-static material, helps minimize these unwanted disturbances, allowing your records to play smoothly and preserving their sound quality.

Grip and stability

Polyester slipmats offer excellent grip and stability, ensuring that your vinyl records stay in place while playing. The smooth surface of polyester allows the record to rotate smoothly, preventing slippage and maintaining a consistent playback speed. This feature is particularly beneficial for DJs who need precise control over their vinyl during scratching or mixing sessions.

Butik Festival Twlinch Custom Slipmat

Protect your vinyl records

Vinyl records are delicate and prone to scratches, especially when placed on rough surfaces. Slipmats provide a protective layer between the turntable platter and the vinyl record, minimizing the risk of scratches and surface damage. This is especially important if you own rare or collectible records that you want to preserve in pristine condition.

Durability and easy maintenance

Polyester slipmats are known for their durability, making them a long-lasting investment. Unlike traditional felt slipmats that can wear down over time, polyester slipmats maintain their quality and performance even after extended use. Additionally, they are easy to clean, requiring only a simple wipe with a damp cloth to remove dust or dirt.

Customization and style

Polyester slipmats offer a wide range of design options, allowing you to personalize your turntable setup to suit your style and taste. Whether you prefer minimalist designs, vibrant patterns, or custom artwork, there is a polyester slipmat out there to complement your aesthetic preferences. Expressing your individuality through your slipmat choice adds a touch of personality to your vinyl collection.

Go get one!

While often overlooked, polyester vinyl slipmats are an essential accessory for any vinyl enthusiast. With their reduced static, enhanced grip, and ability to protect your records, polyester slipmats offer a multitude of benefits that elevate your vinyl listening experience. Whether you’re a casual listener or a professional DJ, investing in a high-quality slipmat is a decision that will enhance the longevity and performance of your vinyl records. So, add a touch of style and functionality to your turntable setup with one of our slipmats and enjoy the smooth, static-free playback of your favorite records.

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Vinyl records are back in the game

In an era dominated by digital music consumption, vinyl records have defied the odds and experienced a significant resurgence. The numbers speak for themselves, showcasing a remarkable rise in the vinyl records industry. It is not just about the music and analogue feel, but an album on a vinyl record has a different value, in the end of the day we still like stuff that we can hold in our hands.

Sales, sales, sales

Vinyl sales have been skyrocketing in 2020 and 2021, reaching their highest levels in decades. The sales were rising by almost 50% in these two years. But in 2022 the sales stopped growing so fast and were just growing by about 3-5%. Still, this remarkable surge indicates a growing demand for the physical format and a rekindled appreciation for its unique qualities. Vinyl is still far away from the numbers in the past but the industry still stays “healthy”.

The young generation of vinyl enthusiasts

Vinyl has been really popular back in the day but with the rise of digital formats, this format was almost forgotten. However one of the main reasons for the comeback is the young population of vinyl collectors. A significant portion of vinyl buyers comprises younger generations who are discovering the allure of vinyl for the first time. They are drawn to the tactile experience, the novelty of owning physical albums, and the authenticity that vinyl brings to their musical journey.

Vinyl records sales are skyrocketing

Mainstream is back on 12”

Mainstream artists are recognizing the real value of selling their albums on vinyl. Major labels and independent artists are releasing their music on vinyl, catering to the growing demand. This trend has further propelled the vinyl industry, making it more accessible to a wider audience.

Waiting in lines for vinyl press

One of the problems with the vinyl comeback is the manufacturing of this piece of art. The big labels are releasing all of their biggest artists also on vinyl which means the pressing plants are not capable of manufacturing vinyl records fast enough. This means that especially some smaller artists are waiting for their vinyl to be pressed for 12-24 months which is crazy. The alternative is a short-run vinyl cut, which represents a faster alternative but usually for smaller quantities of up to 100 records.

The vinyl records industry is experiencing a renaissance, with sales soaring to new heights. The combination of nostalgia, superior sound quality, and the inherent collectability of vinyl records has captured the hearts of music lovers across generations. As the numbers continue to rise, it’s clear that vinyl has carved out a permanent place in the ever-evolving landscape of music consumption.

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Vinyl records cut

This is written with keeping in mind that some of you are experienced and enthusiastic vinyl record lovers, while others may be complete beginners or just curious about the whole industry.

The younger readers of this probably owe the turntable, and the older ones have at least owed one in the past. Those from the 70s will always remember the times they were purchasing vinyl records with a smile on their face but crying inside for spending a fortune just to get some music to share with their friends at the party for the weekend (it was worth it anyway). Nowadays, turntables and vinyl records are growing in popularity, and more of the younger population is building their vinyl collections, but one thing has stayed the same – they are still spending a fortune.

The thing is that maybe some of you don’t know how vinyl records are made. There are not lots of techniques, but one of them—and the most popular one—is vinyl pressing. Vinyl pressing surely deserves not one but a series of short reads in the future, but today we will briefly present the other technique: vinyl cut!

Vinyl cut? Yeah, you heard right

Indeed. The vinyl records can also be cut one by one, and every master disk for a vinyl pressing is cut (a little bit differently, but still). It’s a much longer and more complex procedure, and this is also why the quantities are usually much more limited.

You should be aware that cutting one vinyl takes as much time (without other preparations) as the recordings that are being cut. For example, one hour of music takes one hour of cutting – compared to pressed vinyl, which is made in just a few seconds.

Vinyl lathe cut

Vinyl record pressing vs. Lathe cut vinyl

Why would you cut a vinyl?

There are of course more reasons why vinyl cutting is still popular. Here are some:

  1. Financially pressing the small quantities is not a good option. For example, a local band that plans to sell/give away 50 vinyl records won’t be going to press them as companies pressing vinyl records will demand at least 300-500 copies (which means costs of producing would significantly increase). What would they do with 450 extra copies?
  2. The equipment to start vinyl cutting is much more affordable. This doesn’t mean you don’t need the knowledge of how to make them as the process is not simple, but the entry-level to start is much cheaper compared to the vinyl pressing.
  3. As mentioned in the first point, being a local band or artist and wanting a few copies for your fans won’t take you a long time to get them. The whole procedure when ordering small quantities is much faster. To get in line for pressing would take you at least 8 months (the market is insane at the moment) and as already mentioned you need to order larger quantities.
  4. It’s unique. For example, cutting vinyl is like homemade crafted beer or a handmade wooden piece of interior that has a different value.

But the sound is bad!

Well, this is not true. The sound quality can be poor with both techniques pressing or cutting. The key is in the procedure of making it. 

Three key points on sound quality:

  • Sound quality can be the same as with pressed vinyl or even better with the right approach to preparing the recordings for cutting.
  • Not every cut record is the same but this also stands for pressed vinyl. Experience in producing cut records is one of the critical factors in getting high-quality sound.
  • Cut records lifetime is in lots of cases even longer.

Wanna learn more?

We will discuss this topic in detail in our short reads series, so subscribe to Twlinch newsletter and stay tuned!

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Twlinch is live!

Finally! It’s been more than two years since the idea came and we are happy to say that we officially launched the Twlinch project. The project started from pure love for vinyl records and everything that connects with them. Firstly the idea was to start producing slipmats with unique designs that won’t just improve the quality of sound while playing your vinyl records but also add another layer of beauty to your interior while your record player is not in action.

Custom printing

After the initial idea and producing some samples, more and more friends wanted to have also some custom-printed slipmats so we decided to offer custom printing too. Starting with a simple layout sent to your inbox after ordering the slipmat to place your design, we are working on an online customizer that will allow you to order one directly online in just a few seconds.

Vinyl cutting

The basic idea was however soon upgraded (that’s also one of the reasons why we are relating this with such delay), to a unique vinyl records maniac experience. We started working with XV. Obzorje, who specializes in vinyl cutting with more than 10 years of experience in this field. This means Twlinch will offer a way to order your custom vinyl record online in with a simple vinyl record builder. The online customization will let you order your custom vinyl record in seconds. After placing an order, you send us the recordings and we are ready to go. A custom vinyl record is great for artists who love vinyl and would like to have a copy or two of their album in a non-digital format, or just as a non-forgettable gift to your closest family member or friend.

Let’s get started!

From today on we are promising we will do our best to offer you the best vinyl experience and we hope you join us and help us to grow our community!

Twlinch Team